Famous Calabrian People

Gian Vincenzo Gravina

He belonged to a noble family of Roggiano. He was born in 1664 and since he was very young, Gravina devoted himself to the study of philosophy, maths and law. He was a skilful literary critic and he formulated original theories that he ordered in his famous book "La Ragione Poetica". he was one of the founders of the famous Arcadia, the first academy born in Italy that had as main purpose to bring back to nature, frankness and simplicity the mannered and conventional poetry that was very popular in that time. Gravina's merit was to have revalued a poet like Metastasio. One day, in a goldsmith shop, he heard a twelve - year - old boy, Pietro Trapassi, improvising verses with a surprising ability. Perceived the talent that was hidden inside the uneducated boy, he adopted him as his son, giving him an admirable literary culture and making him one the most authors of operas of the 18th century : the famous Metastasio. Gravina died while he was leaving for Turin, called to teach at the local university by Vittorio Amedei II who admired the acute and subtle jurist that was in him and that was without equals at his time.